The Drivers Behind Sustainable Packaging


EU | Stora Enso, a frontrunner in providing renewable materials for the packaging industry, is upping its game to cater to the escalating need for sustainable packaging solutions.

In response to consumer expectations and regulatory requirements for eco-friendly packaging, Stora Enso is steering the industry towards a pivotal shift. The aim is clear: replacing fossil-based plastics with recyclable alternatives crafted from renewable materials.

Positioned strategically to meet this demand head-on, Stora Enso's new production line in the Oulu Mill, northern Finland, is set to boost its capacity, churning out an impressive 1.2 million tonnes of sustainable packaging materials annually from 2025. Stora Enso is committed to transparency, offering customers documented traceability of wood origin, with all its fibre sourced from responsibly managed northern forests.

Tackling the global surge in demand for sustainable packaging materials can be attributed to five key drivers: Growing Consumer Demand, Environmental Urgency, Resource Transition, Regulatory Compliance, and Corporate Sustainability Goals.

A seismic shift in consumer mindset propels the demand for sustainable solutions. Stora Enso's Oulu facility is poised to play a pivotal role in food packaging, catering to the estimated 11 million-tonne surge in global consumer demand for sustainable packaging materials by 2030.

With Europe alone generating a colossal 20 million tonnes of plastic packaging waste annually, the urgency to transition to recyclable, low-CO2 fibre-based alternatives is evident. Stora Enso's commitment aligns with the pressing need to address plastic pollution and climate change.

Accelerated depletion of fossil materials drives the exploration of renewable resources. Stora Enso leads the charge with wood fibre-based materials as a sustainable alternative, addressing the need for responsible sourcing and documented traceability throughout the value chain.

Stricter packaging regulations, especially in the European Union, push the industry towards sustainability. Stora Enso's fibre-based solutions, with their renewable origins and recyclability, are well-positioned to meet evolving regulatory standards.

Major corporations globally are committing to sustainability objectives, focusing on achieving net-zero carbon emissions. This aligns with the increasing demand for sustainable packaging materials that contribute to the journey toward carbon neutrality.

Stora Enso's expanded capacity in Oulu meets these demands and empowers customers to make sustainable choices in food, beverage, and personal care packaging. The new high-quality, material-efficient packaging boards encourage circular design principles, offering bio-based, recyclable, and low-carbon options.

As the demand for sustainable packaging materials grows, Stora Enso anticipates more alternatives and a narrowing cost differential compared to fossil-based plastics. Tomi Nurminen emphasises that the cost difference reflects our valuation of irreplaceable natural resources.